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Old 08-02-2008, 06:57 AM   #1
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Hydrogen generation breakthrough?

'Major discovery' from MIT primed to unleash solar revolution
Scientists mimic essence of plants' energy storage system

Anne Trafton, News Office
July 31, 2008

In a revolutionary leap that could transform solar power from a marginal, boutique alternative into a mainstream energy source, MIT researchers have overcome a major barrier to large-scale solar power: storing energy for use when the sun doesn't shine.

If you click on the photos on the right to enlarge, there is more on the materials they used.

It looks like it is making a lot of bubbles, but I am suspicious because the blue thing the glass tube is resting on is a stirrer.

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Old 08-02-2008, 08:32 AM   #2
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Can't stop myself from thinking "cold fusion".

MIT is a fairly conservative institution and would not normally release news like this without verifying its claims.

My impression - very short on details (not patented yet?) and little info on the cost of said breakthrough.

I'll believe it when I can buy it at Home Depot in the year 2020.

And then again, just like fuel cells and hot fusion, cheap solar energy always seems to be just 10+ years in the future.

But, the day will come when future generations will learn the history of fossil fuel power and pity us for the grossly inefficient, dirty and costly power source we had to use. If only I had lived to see this day!

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Old 08-02-2008, 09:35 AM   #3
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I saw that on hackaday this morning. Sounds interesting, I hope it works. It's touted as being something for solar energy, but the way it was described it sounds to me like it could be used equally well with other energies -- so we could have hydrogen-fueled cars whose energy source is coal, natural gas, nuclear, hydro, solar, or whatever else.
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Old 08-05-2008, 12:35 PM   #4
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electricity... turning water into hydrogen and oxygen... store it for when the sun don't shine... recombine it in a fuel cell...
Is this April again?! Frickin' electrolysis of water fits the description!
Doesn't mean that's what MIT has done.
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Old 08-05-2008, 01:35 PM   #5
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I don't get it... it's not revolutionary or unprecedented, there's solar to hydrogen systems being worked on loads of places. I was expecting to see claims of extremely good efficiency in solar conversion, this sounds like just a slightly better way to electrolyse H2, there's still the problem of where to put the damn stuff..
I remember The RoadWarrior..To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time..the world was powered by the black fuel & the desert sprouted great cities..Gone now, swept away..two mighty warrior tribes went to war & touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel, they were nothing..thundering machines sputtered & stopped..Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a tank of juice
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Old 08-07-2008, 01:56 AM   #6
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If you guys remember the run for supraconductor materials, R&D allowed to bring up the temperature for supraconductor behavior, from close to 0K to the temp of liquid nitrogen. Higer temperatures allowed it to be more practical.
Today MRI devices use that, and just get a nitrogen refill once a while, with manageable insulation.

Likewise, this might be a better catalysis method making hydrogen generation more efficient, cheaper or faster. Advances may be incremental, but in the end it might turn out to be safer, more efficient and more ecologic than using LEAD batteries.



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